PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Ireland Considers Purchase of AD Fighters
Old 28th Jun 2020, 12:23
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Just a spotter
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Dublin
Posts: 764
While it would be great to see the Defence Forces in general and the Air Corps in particular get the funding needed to upgrade and bring it in line with other western counties, the reality is that’s a long way off.

Ireland currently spends just under 0.3% of GDP on defence (The Irish Times, Oct 2019; https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...2020-1.4043884 ) . The Army, Naval Service and Air Corps are all reported as under strength (The Irish Examiner, Aug 2019; https://www.irishexaminer.com/breaki...es-946626.html ).

There has been spending recently to upgrade equipment, 4 new vessels for the Naval Service at around €75m per ship, arrived between 2011 & 2018 (increasing the overall fleet size by 1), and planned refitting of the Rósin class vessels at about €250,000 each, however, the service is unable to put one vessel within the fleet to sea due to crew shortages. The Air Corps has 4 PC-12’s ordered (1 has arrived) for ISTAR and support ops costing around €32m, replacing Reims/Cessna 172’s and there’s an expectation that the Casa C235’s will be replaced soon too.

We’ve recently seen Naval Service extending beyond the EEZ, supporting overseas deployment of the Army on UN missions and in the Med as part of the Italian Operation Pontus and the EU Operation Sophia. The Air Corps has also recently started small scale transport ops in support of the Army’s UN operations.

While the PC-9’s were purchased with an eye to being a step to FJ ops, there’s no support infrastructure within the IAC for that, no Air Defence radar for example and the question of where the aircraft and their support services would be based would need to be considered (not much point in them being on the east coast in Casement and having to toodle along sub-sonic from Dublin when trying to intercept a target along the Atlantic seaboard).

Unlike countires such as the UK or US, in Ireland, there's no votes in bigging up the military. The position express by meleagertoo is very commonly held.

I suspect it's unlikely to come to anything

JAS

Last edited by Just a spotter; 28th Jun 2020 at 20:34.
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